The Ontario Ministry of Transportation is once again delaying a requirement for emergency lift axle override controls within Safe, Productive, Infrastructure-Friendly (SPIF) vehicle configurations.
“In response to an in-cab emergency override control manufacturer’s difficulty in finalizing testing and providing a proper solution, the ministry will further extend the current enforcement deferral of the regulations governing the in-cab emergency override controls until Dec. 31, 2022,” the ministry has said in a notice to several stakeholders. “This will give time for the manufacturer to finalize their solution.”
The regulatory update allows an in-cab switch to lift self-steering axles in emergency situations, but the option requires an independent switch that also activates four-way flashers at the same time.
Enforcement was first delayed in late 2019 to give manufacturers a chance to pilot the technology designed to offer extra traction at relatively low speeds.
Under the SPIF rules, the axles will need to lift as soon as the switch is activated, and the override must be limited to speeds of less than 60 km/h. The controls must also be limited to the forward self-steering axle on a semi-trailer, or a truck’s self-steering axle or forced-steer auxiliary pusher axle. The self-steering axle must fully deploy when the truck stops, when power is turned off, or withing three minutes of the switch being activated.
The increased complexity of digital dashboards has made it more difficult to introduce such a switch, which would not be required in other jurisdictions.
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